Hot air balloon trips, have recently been introduced in Uganda national parks to include Queen Elizabeth National park and also Murchison Falls national park.
Uganda’s tourism experience has continued to flourish for so many years. Uganda is one of the must visit places in the world especially for people that are interested in watching primates like the mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees as well as those that love wildlife and birds.
Uganda is blessed with different national parks across the country. You will find different wildlife species for example, there are large herds of Elephants in parks like Queen Elizabeth, Murchison, Kidepo and some in Semuliki. Herds of buffaloes are commonly seen in Kidepo, Murchison and Queen, thousands of Zebras are found in Kidepo and Lake Mburo. Giraffes are common in Murchison and Kidepo, the lions are common in Murchison, Queen and Kidepo while other animals like different types of antelopes, the warthogs, hyenas, among so many other animals can be found in also all the above mentioned five wildlife safari destinations in Uganda. The main activity done is such parks is game viewing.
Game drives for game viewing
Game viewing is the highlight of every Uganda wildlife safari. Although there are cases where the animals do find the tourists at their hotels in the park which is very common in Kidepo valley, one has to do a game drive to see plenty of animals. It can be a night game drive to look for the nocturnal dwellers or a an early morning game drive.
Hot air balloon trips
Hot air balloon trips are pretty interesting because you get an aerial view of wildlife and can have more clear view of the surrounding and at a wider spectrum. This is a really unique way of game viewing and there is always a trained pilot to fly you around the park. It is a great way to watch the sunrise and enjoy the scenery.
Hot air balloon is however only done in Murchison and Queen Elizabeth national parks and has to be booked prior. The trips can be done in groups or even privately at an extra cost depending on the client’s request. At the moment the balloons in Uganda have a capacity of 7-8 people but hopefully, large balloons will be introduced. The adventure starts very early in the morning before sunrise.
By 05:30 am, you should be leaving your hotels to the hot air balloon take off area. They will have to locate a good take off spot and then do the required tests like which direction the wind is blowing. Before taking off, you may take a cup of coffee or refreshments as they unload and assemble the balloon. Before taking off, guests are also briefed about their safety.
You should be ready to take off by around 6.15 am and start the game viewing which lasts about 1 hour. The flights usually take 45 minutes to 1 and half hours but this depends on factors like the weight of all passengers combined, then the temperature above and also where the pilot gets an appropriate landing spot.
Usually the balloons fly at about 760 metres high which is a high enough altitude. That is high above the high trees but low enough to have a clear view of the wildlife and the beautiful scenery. Hot air balloon safaris offer you an amazing opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the scenery and the wildlife.
After an hour or so, like at 7:15 am, you should be landing and once you land, you will have your breakfast served there. This is what we call the bush Breakfast. It will be a complete English bush breakfast and after that safari, all passengers are awarded with the hot air balloon safaris certificates to keep as a souvenir. You will be returning to the lodge by 8:30 am and this the time you get to do an en route game drive.
Costs of a hot air balloon safari
Hot air balloon prices vary depending on the package you wish to buy, it could be a full board package at 380 US dollars per person and this includes the bush breakfast, pickup and drop off at the lodge, the ride itself and may be a boat ride across the river if your lodge is on the southern side of Murchison falls national park. This fee applies to the foreign non residents too.
The Economy package which includes the pickup and drop off to the lodge, the actual ride and a boat ride across the river that is if you are spending the nights in lodges on the southern part of Murchison as well as the bush breakfast. This package is at USD 300 per person and the price applies to the foreign residents too.
The residents/ Ugandan can get to enjoy the same services at USDollars 250 per person.
For those that wish to have a private hot air balloon trip without any strangers aboard the fee is USD2000. They will still receive the same service.
All children that are between 6-12 pay half the price of the adults, those below 6 fly for free although it is not advised to fly with such a toddler.
Hot air balloon is one of the most amazing ways of game viewing and you don’t have to travel from Uganda to Kenya or Tanzania to enjoy such an experience, you can have that very experience in Uganda. The Pearl of Africa.
To book your Uganda Hot air balloon trip Contact us and advise us about your preferred dates of travel.